Cancer Research 10k

On the 14th October 2007, the Streatham Slo-Mo Mo-Fo's consisting of myself, PM, Ed (Licensing manager at work), Macro Mark (guy who sits behind me and shares our allotment), Ellen (distribution manager), Stuart (the guy I replaced) and Michael (another of the licensing team) made our way down to Leeds Castle in Kent (not Leeds - get your Geography books out!).
We arrived at 8.30am as stipulated in the instructions, an hour before the start. Although Michael had made the journey down, a recently sustained knee injury ruled him out of running on the day, so he took to the sidelines with Ellen's boyfriend Gareth to cheer and take photos.
We waited patiently and at around 9.45am we were off. The boys and Ellen took off while I opted for a slight slower pace. I guessed that I should still be able to make the hour mark despite my slow start.
Initially we ran past the castle and its surrounding lakes, which was nice and peaceful, and relatively flat. Then the nightmare began. The majority of the first 5km was uphill. After the first 2km I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to the finish line let alone inside the hour mark. But I carried on, up the hill, through the village, through the woods and back out onto the road.
There was a water station at the 5km mark. I had a bottle of energy drink with me so I opted to throw the water over my head as it was relatively hot. I forgot that I had my iPod so there was some frantic waving of earphones to dry them. Thankfully they were fine and I continued on my way. At the 7km mark we entered back into the grounds of the castle and looked down onto the castle and its lakes. At this point Sweet Home Alabama came on in my 10k playlist (think Forrest Gump). It felt rather fitting and spurred me on.

Following a steep downhill grass slope, the course took us along the edge of the lake which was unsurprisingly boggy and wet. And then I was greeted by another uphill stretch. I was past the 8km mark but this last hill was a bit too much so I opted to walk for a bit to catch my breath. But I didn't walk long and carried on running from there to the finish.

The finish line was over the brow of a hill. PM was waiting and cheering me on for the final few metres. But once I got over the hill and saw the finish line, I was completely deflated when I saw the clock and realised I had not made it inside the hour. It was annoying but given the toughness of the course, it could have been worse. So the finishing times were thus:

Ed - 46mins 5secs
Mark - 49mins 3secs
Stuart - 49mins 19secs
PM - 49mins 22secs
Ellen - 54mins 10secs
Me - 66mins 30secs

But more importantly, we have raised over £1,200 for Cancer Research UK. Thank you to everyone who sponsored us!

And being the mad people that we are, we have signed up for another 10k in May 2008.


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